The Captain's Veranda by Joe Sarno


A couple of months ago when I ran the story about the Ostfeldt store several people asked me if it was the best buy I had ever made? Dollor for dollorthe Ostfeldt purchase was probablt the most profitable over a long period of time, and it led directly to my opening The Fantasy Shop/Nostalgia Shop/Comic Kingdom. But the absolute BEST buy I ever made form the standpoint of sheer quality would have to be the comic book I brought in LaPorte,Indiana.

But before I get to the story we should paint a little bit of the backgound; the story behind the story, or possibly " the rest of the story". In October of 1974 the Magazine section of The Chicago Tribune ran a story on our store (then called The Nostalgia Shop) in a brand new column they were starting called Openers. I don't remember if we werethe inital column, but we were one of very earliest, possibly the second or third. Anyhow it was a great little article, with a nice photo of yours truly, sporting a goatee with a radio premium rings on every finger. A lot of good things came from that article, as a number of people filed it away for future reference.

One of those was the producer of a Sunday evening NBC-TV magazine show called SORTING IT OUT, hosted by Bob Smith (not that Bob Smith), and Shelley Long (yes that Shelley Long). One day they called and said they wanted to do a segment on the store, and a few days later came in and shot about an hours worht of footage that was cut down to about 10 minutes and used on a show which broadcast in late Febuary of 1975. We had a nice burst of new business after the Tribune article, but we had a great burst of new business after the TV coverage. Actuallt I don't believe it was the stores first spot on TV. I want to say that Frank Mathie of ABC interviewed us a year earlier, and of course the first radio interview concerning our store with a young Bod Sirrot for some a small station when he was first starting out.

The one sunny day in late May of 1975 Bill came into the store, and with him he had a Batman 3, Captain America 1, Human Torch 2, Sub-Mariner 1, and Archie 1. And not just any Cap 1 and Archie 1, but MINT Cap 1 and a Archie 1. Bill had also filed a copy of the article away, and he had seen the spot of SORTING IT OUT. He had seved the article with the idea of coming into the store to see with his childhood treasures were worth.

Almost all his comics were in beautiful condition, with white pages and bright shiny covers, all but three that is. He had a copy of Complete #1 with a small section about three inches long and 1/4 of an inch deep at the top of the book that had got folded back. His copy of Captain America #2 was only in very good condition, and his copy of Marvel Mystery #1 was in good to V.G with a small piece missing about the size of a postage stamp in the upper left hand corner. Why those books were not up to par, and how they got to be saved all these years will be the subject of our next column.

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Originally published in the C.B. WEEKLY (Comic Book Collectors Bulletin) Vol 3 #75 June 6, 2001 copyright Joe Sarno and respective copyright holders 2003.